USA vs Wales: Match preview, predicted line-ups, quotes, form, injuries and how to watch

Can Rob Page's men get a crucial victory on their long-awaited return to international football's biggest stage?

By Callum Rice-Coates Published: 19 November 2022 - 10.39am
brennan johnson

When and where to watch USA vs Wales?

USA vs Wales kicks off at 7pm on Monday 21 November.

You can watch all the action from the Al-Rayyan Stadium on ITV via BT TV.

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USA vs Wales match preview

Group B appears to be a difficult one to predict, but what is clear is that the opening game for both USA and Wales is a big one.

With England expected to beat Iran and finish top of the group, the winner of Monday night’s game, if there is one, will put themselves in a strong position to qualify.

USA head into the tournament with a youthful, relatively unproven squad, but there is plenty of optimism surrounding Gregg Berhalter’s team.

The key question is whether or not the US have the tournament know-how and experience to progress from a difficult group.

Wales will hope the cohesion and familiarity developed within their squad over recent years gives them the advantage over their first opponents in Qatar.

Rob Page has a settled core of players, many of whom played in Euro 2016 and Euro 2020. Given the overachievement in both of those tournaments - particularly Euro 2016, when they reached the semi-finals - there is a quiet confidence about Wales.

Younger talents like Neco Williams and Brennan Johnson have stepped up of late, allowing Page to be less reliant on Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale, though their fitness and form will of course be vitally important in Qatar.

Ben Davies and Joe Allen, vastly experienced on the international stage, will be important too as Wales take to the pitch against USA for their first World Cup game since 1958.

Page will likely set his team up to break quickly against a USA side that look to play attractive, attacking football but have some defensive vulnerabilities.

USA vs Wales predicted lineups

USA: Turner; Dest, Zimmerman, Long, Robinson, Musah, Adams, Acosta, Aaronson, Ferreira, Pulisic.

Wales: Hennessey; Ampadu, Rodon, Davies, Roberts, Ramsey, Allen, Williams; Bale, Johnson, James.

CARDIFF, WALES - JUNE 05: Joe Allen of Wales during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Wales and Ukraine at Cardiff City Stadium on June 05, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) ***Local Caption*** Joe Allen 2022 Visionhaus
Joe Allen has only made nine appearances for Swansea this season

USA vs Wales: Injuries and suspensions

USA will monitor the fitness of midfielders Luca de la Torre and Weston McKennie, who both picked up injuries at their respective clubs last month and have yet to return to action.

For Wales, the only real injury concern is over Joe Allen, who hasn’t featured for Swansea since September because of a hamstring problem.

The 32-year-old has reassured Welsh fans that he should be ready for the opening game of the World Cup.

Form (last 6 matches)

USA – WDWDLD

Wales – WLDLLL

USA vs Wales: Form guide

USA’s form has been inconsistent since they secured qualification for the World Cup.

Berhalter’s side have won just two of their last six matches, drawing three and losing one.

The defeat came against Japan in a September friendly, while a 0-0 draw against Uruguay in Kansas was a far more promising result than their most recent goalless affair against Saudi Arabia.

In the CONCACAF Nations League, USA thrashed Grenada 5-0, with four goals for in-form forward Jesus Ferreira, and drew 1-1 to El Salvador thanks to an injury-time equaliser from Jordan Morris.

Wales’ form looks alarming at first glance, though the quality of the opposition they faced is telling.

The Dragons have won just one of their last six and that was the 1-0 play-off win against Ukraine in Cardiff in June to secure qualification for the World Cup.

Since then, Wales have fallen to defeats against Netherlands, Belgium and Poland in an unforgiving Nations League group.

USA vs Wales: Last time they met

The last game between the two nations came in November 2020, and it was one to forget.

A much-changed Wales side played out a drab goalless draw in a friendly against the US at the Liberty Stadium.

2022 Shaun Clark
Gareth Bale has scored 40 goals in 108 games for Wales

He said what?!

Rob Page has been keeping a close eye on USA in the buildup to the World Cup opener:

“I’ve got an idea of what the team is going to be.

“I went over to Alicante to watch the USA play, to see how they set up, so I have an idea of what we’re going to do.”

USA vs Wales: Players to watch

Jesus Ferreira is a genuine threat for USA, who have often found goals hard to come by against stronger opposition.

The 21-year-old striker scored 18 goals in 33 MLS appearances in 2022 and has a decent return of seven in 14 USA caps.

Wales’ usually sturdy backline will need to keep an eye on Ferreira, while Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is very much the main man in attack.

At 24 and with 52 appearances for the USMNT, the former Borussia Dortmund wonderkid is now one of the more experienced heads in the squad.

His quality in wide areas, even if he has been on the periphery at Chelsea, is a dangerous weapon.

Christian Pulisic is the focal point for USA in attack